What is Golf Lead Tape (How to Apply Weight to Golf Clubs)


roll of lead tape for golf


What is Golf Club Weight Tape?

As I was watching golf players in action, I was fascinated by one of my friends who were among the golf players adding strips of lead tape to the club head of his driver.

Although at the time I was unaware of the logic or the benefit behind using golfer tape, I knew I had to find out more.

What does lead tape do on golf clubs? Golf club weight tape is added to the club head to add weight; hence changing the golfers swing weight. It’s believed that adding strips of lead weights to a golf club will change the centre of gravity and improve the flight of a golf ball.

 

Why Do People Put Tape on their Driver?

Golf players apply lead tape on their club’s driver to alter the clubs weight distribution. Adding weight can alter the golf balls flight of path and increase distances.

Expert professionals have a mixed opinion on the benefits of lead tape usage. Some professionals of the PGA pros, like Phil Michelson, have enjoyed using lead tape on their clubs. Although adding weight may not fix a very bad golf swing, it can help in smoothing out any glitches in your technique.

Attaching the lead tape to the club head area that’s furthest away from the shaft has its advantage. This application can help enhance the golf ball’s movement (known as fade shot) or to help reduce a hook shot.

Changing the center of gravity by installing the tape on the club’s bottom improves weight distribution and increases loft.

Adding lead tape to the club definitely increases the “heft “of the swing. A 4” -long strip by 0.5” wide tape when attached to the golf club will alter the swing weight of any club by one point.

An increase of 1 point is only recognizable by the most sensitive golf players, whereas a shift in swing weights of 2-3 points is more easily detected by golfers. If you cannot experience the feel of the club head in the swing then it’s time to use lead tapes on your club.

 

How Much Does Lead Tape Weigh?

Lead tape can be bought in rolls by the meter. Golf lead tape weighs about 1 gram for every 1 inch long piece of tape.

Learn more about weight distribution by viewing my useful guide on golf club weight

 

Is Lead Tape Safe?

Before the golf players start using lead tapes, they should ensure that they have read all the information and instructions on the package. Precautions if necessary should be strictly adhered to.

Although lead, is a neurotoxin and highly poisonous if ingested, applying lead tape to golf clubs is safe.

Studies by tennis professionals who have used the tape on rackets believe that lead poisoning arising from the usage of lead tapes on tennis racks or golf clubs are negligible

Expert opinion from Bill Gray, who is the editor of tennisgear.com, advises players to keep tape away from one’s face. He also advises you to not to store lead tape inside your golf bag where it may accidentally rub against your towel.

I recommend that you use latex gloves while handling lead tape and to keep it away from children. All recommendations, safety information and precautionary measures written on the packaging should be strictly adhered to.

 

Where to Put Lead Tape on Driver?

Strips of lead tape are attached to your irons or driver in order to rectify some minor faults in your swing. Players will also use it to alter trajectory of their ball. Swing defects which are minor can easily be corrected by attaching a piece of lead tape to the driver.

The tape can help you reduce any rough spots. A 1-inch piece of the tape weighs around 1 gram. 

You’ll need to experiment a little in order to find the best spot to place your tape. I recommend taking your driver to a driving range and try taking multiple shots while changing the position of the tape. You will eventually be able to figure out the best position.


To help you rectify further faults you should keep the following in mind:

  • If you want to reduce the hook of your driver, add a piece of tape to the tip or the toe of the club head.

  • If you usually square the clubface, then add a piece of tape to the heel of the driver.

  • If the driver’s center of gravity is giving you issues and you wish to alter it, you can add some tape close to the bottom of the driver.

  • You can add some tape around the grip area to help counterbalance your driver.

 

Where to Apply Lead Tape on Irons (Steps)

You need to follow a few simple steps before putting on the tape to ensure that the tape doesn’t fall off. The risk of the tape peeling away is always present so be careful.

  1. You will need to clean the area around the clubhead quite thoroughly. You can also use sandpaper to lightly sand down the area.

  2. Pick an area on the clubface that has a flat surface or a nearly flat surface. Uneven surfaces may not allow the tape to stick correctly.

  3. Add the tape to the thick part of the iron. It’s said that the best performance can be obtained when the tape is added to the area which bears all the weight.
  4. Once you have added the tape, flatten it out with a ball to ensure that it stays in place.

 

How Much Lead Tape to Change Swing Weight?

The correct amount of lead tape needed is not a fixed value as it depends on the needs of each individual player. The tape is used to correct some minor faults in the clubs centre of gravity and should only be used to improve your swing.

Aside from a performance point of view, the tapes are used to create a heavier feel to your iron or driver. On average, by adding 2 grams of the tape, you can increase your swing weight by one point.

Similarly, removing 2 grams of tape can reduce 1 swing weight off the club. However it’s difficult to notice a change of 1 swing weight, so you may need to add 4 grams to notice a difference.

Most of the professional players can feel a change in about 3 swing weights of the clubs.

If you’re wondering how much tape will be necessary to add 1 gram of weight, you will need to look at the width of the tape to ascertain that. You will need at least 4 pieces of the 1/2″ wide strips of tape to add 1 gram of weight.

Try adding at least 2 swing weights of tape to the club and play some shots. If you’re not happy with the feel of the club, try removing or adding some more tape until it feels about right. You will need to experiment a bit before you can find the right feel.

 

How to Apply Lead Tape to Golf Clubs

Lead tape is an affordable way for tweaking you performance on the golf course. If you have been experiencing some minor swing faults or would like to enhance the weight of the club, you should try using a lead tape.

It’s best to use tapes that are available in rolls and not the precut varieties. The precut tape has rounded corners and has been found to be not very good at sticking to the clubs for a long period of time.

To apply lead tape to your club, first ensure the area is well cleaned. Applying the tape to a dirty area will cause the tape to come off sooner.

I find it helps to use a heavy object to press down on the tape straight after applying it. This is to ensure that the tape sticks well to the surface of the club. It may leave some scratches on the tape but these markings will not affect the performance in any way.

 

Where to Put Lead Tape on a Golf Club

There are no fixed rules as to where the lead tape should be placed. The only thing to remember is that the tape should be placed in a flat area on the clubface or the head. This is to ensure that the tape stays in place for as long as possible.

In general, the tapes are used to add or reduce the weight of the club head and so they are never placed on the shaft.

Try adding a piece on the back of your driver to help correct the hook. Add this in such a way that it’s close to the heel of the club face. This can help correct a hook on the ball’s trajectory.

Adding a piece of tape close to the back of the driver as well as close to the toe can help correct a slice.

These are the basics on where to place lead tapes. You will need to swing a few shots to determine where exactly you need to place the tapes for your driver or club.

 

How to Add Lead Tape to Driver

Adding lead tape to a driver is very easy. Let me help you understand how you can quickly and easily add pieces of the tape to your driver.

If you have a heavy club head and have trouble with it, you can easily counterbalance the weight by adding a piece of tape around the grip area. This technique can work for heavy club heads and can help make the clubs more comfortable to use.

You can add a few pieces of tape near the heel of the clubhead to help with the swing. By adding a few pieces of tape on the back of the clubhead, you can easily alter the center of gravity and shift it a bit backward.

If you’re switching from a heavy driver to a lighter driver, you can add some tape to the grip. This can help you feel more comfortable and also help you adapt to the feel of the driver faster.

 

How Much Tape To Use (Grams Per Inch)

Now that you know how to use lead tapes to correct the faults in the club, you may be wondering how much to use and how to know the weight of the tape pieces.

There are no absolute measurements to go by, but generally it’s accepted that a 2-inch piece of lead tape which has a width of 1/2 inch weighs around 2 grams. This is enough tape to notice a difference in overall weight.

Keep in mind, this amount will depend on the density of the tape. Most tapes are of standard density and therefore the weight is calculated as above. If you happen to purchase a high-density tape, then you may be able to add quite a bit of weight with a lesser amount of tape.

You can add 4 pieces of 1/2 inch strips to add 1 swing weight to your club. These light-weight tapes may not be suitable for people looking to add around 10g or so of weight to their clubs.

If a specific area on your club needs to be even heaver, use the high-density type which offers more thickness. A 3.15-inch piece of high-density lead tape which has a width of 1/2 inch weighs about 1 swing weight. You can use this as a reference and decide the right amount of tape and the right type of tape for your clubs.

 

How to Remove Lead Tape

You might have switched to an older set of irons which have some lead tape taped on the head, or you might want to reduce the weight of the club. Whatever be the reason, it takes quite a bit of skill to remove the tape.

The most common method to remove lead tape from a golf club is to use a sharp object and try lifting the tape off from one of the edges. You can then remove the residue pieces by first using a hairdryer and then an adhesive remover such as Goo Gone.

Some people prefer applying heat to the tape. There might be a health hazard associated with inhaling lead particles so heating is not recommended. It’s better to take caution while dealing with the heat method. You can slowly peel off the old tape by lifting the edges using any sharp object like a kitchen knife. It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s worth the effort.

 

High-Density Lead Tape

High-density tapes are used to add more weight to a club without having to use too much. It can be really frustrating if you’re looking to add about 10 grams of weight to your club face. This can take around 4 pieces of tape give you 1 gram in total.

This is where the high-density lead tapes come in. This type of tape weighs more and is thicker than the standard type.

½-inch piece of tape of the high-density variety could get you around 1 gram. The advertised weight does vary. You will need to look for the right tape depending on how much weight you’re looking to add to your club.

Most of the high-density tapes and standard tapes will have the weights in the ratio of 2:1 with the high-density variety weighing twice the amount of the standard tape.

golfer teeing off


Where Can You Buy Lead Tape

You can find lead tape at Walmart or your most local golf stores. All the stores that stock golf equipment will definitely have some stock of lead tape. You can easily buy them for a discount during Thanksgiving and Christmas season.

You can buy these tapes in bulk and stock them up for the upcoming season. Apart from physical stores, you can also find products online. Amazon and Ebay are two likely websites to find a wide variety of tape sizes.  

The price of lead tape on average is $10 per 100 inches of tape.

 

Conclusion

Lead tapes are used to add or reduce the weight of the clubs. Minor faults with the swing or the loft can also be rectified by adding some pieces of tape. The lead tape pieces are heavy and weigh around 1g per 4 pieces of 1/2 inch tape.

These strips are usually added to the back of the clubface and can significantly help improve weight distribution.

There are 2 varieties of lead tapes available. One is the standard variety which is commonly used and the other is the high-density style. The high-density tape weighs a lot more than the standard variety and should be used sparingly.

If you have been playing for quite some time, then it’s always advisable to keep some tape in your kit and use some when your swings start feeling off.

You will need to try out different tape positions before hitting upon the right place. I think it’s worth trying a few pieces of tape on your club to see if it helps your swing. The tape is easily removable so there is no risk involved.

While using tape may not be advised for beginners, when you see the top professional players using it, you can be confident it offers real benefits.

Learn more about weight distribution by viewing my useful guide on golf club weight

Ernie

Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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